Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

If request the reader of this section to make detail independent enquiry before acting on the information provided below. M&M does not take the responsibility for any liability arising out of any action without specifically consulting us.

Commercial companies established in the UAE must take any of the following legal forms:

  • General Partnership Company
  • Partnership in-commendam (Limited Partnership)
  • Public Shareholding Company (PJSC)
  • Private Shareholding Company
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Joint Venture (Consortium Company)
  • Professional Companies (Professional Partnership)
  • Proprietorship Firm to practice professional activities (100% foreign investor/s ownership)
  • Appointing a Commercial Agent (Exclusive Distributor)
  • Opening a Branch or Representative of Foreign Company
  • Establishments by GCC Citizens

In accordance with the UAE Commercial Companies Law public and private shareholding companies, limited liability companies, branches of foreign companies and free zone establishments have to file their financial statements within 120 days of year-end. Filing is done with the Federal Ministry of Economy and Commerce and with the local licensing authority (i.e. the Economic Department or the municipality). Presently, the requirement to submit financial statements to the Federal Ministry is not always rigorously applied and certain licensing authorities request audited financial statement as part of the license renewal process.

Free zone establishments in the Jebel Ali Free Zone are required to submit their annual audited financial statements to the Jebel Ali Free Zone authority within 90 days from the financial year-end.

In addition, certain business activities may be required to file their financial statements with other government agencies. Banks and financial institutions have to submit their financial statements to the UAE Central Bank while courier companies are required to submit their statements to the Ministry of Finance and Industry.

As per federal law 2 of 2015 companies shall prepare annual financial accounts including the balance sheet and the profit and loss account and shall apply the International Accounting Standards and Practices upon preparing its periodical and annual accounts, to give a clear and accurate view of the profits and losses of the Company.

Moreover, the law specifically states each Joint Stock Company or Limited Liability Company shall have one or more auditors to audit annually the books of accounts and it requires application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)/International Accounting Standards (IAS) to give a clear and accurate view of the financial position and profit and losses of the Company.

The Company’s board of directors shall approve such accounts and forward the same to the General Assembly, together with auditor’s report within 4 months from the end of each fiscal year.

The requirements for maintaining accounting records for companies operating in the UAE are prescribed in the Commercial Companies Law and the Commercial Transactions Law.

According to latter, businesses must keep ledgers and books according to their specific business requirements, but in all cases should at least keep the daily journal and general ledger.

The Commercial Companies Law requires businesses to keep an original copy of all correspondences, telexes, letters and invoices issued or received. It allows certain large corporations to keep their archives on microfilm. All accounting information and evidencing documents are to be retained for a period of five years. The law allows businesses to maintain computerized accounting records.

We, at M&M Al Menhali Auditing treat all information gathered from clients with the utmost confidentiality. Rest assured that all information passed through our channels will be kept for our information purposes only and shall not be disclosed to other third parties.

In UAE, you can form companies either in free zone or in mainland. There are almost 40 different free zones in which company can be formed. Every free zone has the list of activities for which company can be set up and also have their own rules and regulations for setting up, operations of and for liquidation of companies. Formation of Companies in mainland is governed by Commercial Company Law No. 2 of 2015.

The Federal Commercial Companies Law No.2 of 2015, introduced in July 2015, regulates business in the U.A.E. The Law stipulates a company shall take one of the following forms and is either wholly owned by the nationals or at least to the extent of 51% of the share capital.

  • Joint Liability Company (100% national ownership).
  • Simple Commandite Company (100% national ownership)
  • Limited Liability Company.
  • Public Joint Stock Company.
  • Private Joint Stock Company.

Exception for the above are in case the company is one of the following:

  • Is a company being formed in free zone?
  • Carried on certain activities which are open to 100% AGCC ownership.
  • Where wholly owned AGCC companies enter into partnership with UAE nationals.
  • Which is foreign company registering its branches or a representative office.
  • Is professional or artisan company where 100% foreign ownership is permitted

Licensing:

The basic requirement for all business activity is one of the following three categories of licenses

  • Commercial licenses covering all kinds of trading activity.
  • Professional licenses covering professional services, craftsmen and artisans.
  • Industrial licenses for establishing industrial or manufacturing activity.

These licenses are issued from the economic department/ministries.

Companies formed prior to July 2015 were governed by Federal Law No. 8 of 1984 which now has been replaced by the new Federal Law No. 2 of 2015. Earlier the mandate was to amend the memorandum and articles (‘MOA and AOA’) to incorporate the changes in the law. However vide Ministerial Decree No.694/2016 issued on 19.12.2016, the MOA & AOA of the existing companies need not be amended. However in case of any disputes the provisions of new law will prevail. Hence it is advisable for companies to get their MOA revised and updated as per the clauses of new law.

Following types of companies can be formed in Free zones:

  • 100% subsidiary of an holding company outside UAE
  • Branch of a company having their Head office outside UAE
  • A holding company having branches/subsidiaries outside UAE
  • Free zone establishment with an individual as a shareholder
  • Free zone company with individuals as shareholders

Our firm is registered with and well qualified to service clients in: DMCC, DAFZA, JAFZA, RAK OFFSHORE, HAMRIYAH, SAIF ZONE, TECOM, DIFC, Dubai Silicon Oasis and DWC.

Benefits

  • 100% ownership
  • Zero Tax
  • No customs duty on imports to and exports from outside UAE
  • Easy repatriation

Limitations

  • Any sales to outside free zone within UAE will attract 5% customs duty
  • Sales outside free zone within UAE will require appointment of Agent who should be national .

As per federal law 2 of 2015 every company shall keep accounting records showing its transactions to accurately reveal the financial position of the company and enabling the partners or shareholders to confirm that the accounts of the company are properly kept. The accounting books of the Company must be kept at its head office for a period of at least five years from the end of its financial year.

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are a set of accounting standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and is the global standard for preparing the public listed company financial statements.

International Accounting Standards (IAS) are older standards often confused with IFRS, some of the IAS have been superseded by IFRS, but most are still relevant and need to applied in the preparation of financial statements. IAS’s were originally issued by the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) which has been since then replaced by the IASB.

The Department of Economic Development, Dubai has classified certain specific activities the L.L.C is permitted to undertake. The company can practice multiple activities with General Trading License with additional fees, which will be levied by licensing authorities in the year of incorporation.

The government departments charge an import duty of 5% for the products imported to the main land. However companies operating in free zones are exempted from import duty. Besides this, no other duty or levy is charged by government